Thursday, September 8, 2011

Opposites Rule in Bentonville, AR

On a recent visit to the world's largest retailer, I found myself on a plane to Bentonville, AR.  Truth be told, I wasn't looking forward to it.  Not only is it unquestionably inconvenient to fly between two small city airports, but it's not exactly a cosmopolitan mecca.  Then again, I have a good friend who just moved there, so I was looking forward to a little gal time.

Our Girls' Night started with drinks at the very quaint and English-bar redux, Tusk & Trotter.  The specials were playfully written out on a chalkboard, including this eye-catching cocktail - "Cucumber-Mint Gin & Tonic."  After having come in from a sickeningly sultry 100 degree day, that just sounded positively refreshing.  I'd also recently been introduced to Hendrick's Gin, which is uniquely infused with cucumbers and rose petals.  My drink of choice lately has been muddled cucumber slices with Hendrick's and tonic with a nice wedge of lime.  It's clean, crisp, cool, and I like it a lot.

So imagine my surprise when I got this.  

Whoa, where was the nuclear meltdown?  Umm.  Did you run out of mint leaves?  Ohhh, you use creme de menthe for the "mint" part.  I stopped short of recommending that they should rename this "Scope Gin & Tonic."  I finally admitted that I couldn't drink it, sent it back like one of those divas that I dislike so much, and ordered a BOTTLED beer.  

All the while, my girlfriend is just shaking her head.  There's nothing like a stereotype that totally manifests itself right before your very eyes.

Then we walked around the corner to a place called Table Mesa.  This was redemption, baby!!  We started with the Cheap Dates - Medjool dates stuffed with blue and cream cheese and wrapped in bacon.  Delectable Yumminess!  Then we split two entrees.  First, the Korean BBQ tacos.  The beef was moist and tender with a spicy sweetness that had a kick.  Then the Seafood Paella special.  Not quite like being in Spain, but the flavors were complex and balanced, and wow - I'm in Arkansas?  The meal was capped off with the Key Lime - Tres Leches.  I'm not normally a cake kind of gal, but I'll eat this kind of cake any day.  Housemade cake is soaked in three milks (what kind of milk?  Ah, I should have asked) and key lime and then drizzled with pureed fruit.  It was mildly sweet, but the beautiful thing about this is that there was no way it couldn't be moist!  When our server recommended it, I remember thinking, oh man, it's either going to be a soggy mess, or actually taste like a sponge.  Fortunately, neither was the case, and I'm glad I took the cue from the server.

Lately, I've been thinking about the Rule of Opposites and how it almost always holds true.  Here, indeed, it does.

Table Mesa
108 E Central On The Square 
Downtown Bentonville 

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